MOSCOW, 24 Sep 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
On September 9, 2021, US President Joe Biden announced mandatory vaccination, which will be distributed to approximately 100 million working Americans. The importance of this topic is related not only to what social consequences this decision will entail in the United States, but also how it will affect the rest of the world and Russia in particular.
To begin with, it is necessary to recall that in December 2020, Joe Biden stated that he would not advocate for mandatory vaccination. In 2021, after the new White House administration took over, Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeatedly said that the introduction of mandatory vaccination requirements is beyond the competence of the federal government.
The fact that the government cannot force people to get vaccinated was also stated in April 2021 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the head of the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi. Speaking at the White House on September 9, Joe Biden announced the implementation of a new plan to combat COVID-19, which consists of six points, the main of which is mandatory vaccination of government employees, health workers and employees of private enterprises with a staff of more than 100 people.
Joe Biden called the current situation in the United States with COVID-19 a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and declared the 25% of the population that has not been vaccinated a minority that can harm the country. “A certain minority of Americans – supported by a certain minority of elected officials — does not allow us to turn the corner,” Joe Biden said, and said that this is the reason why the United States cannot return to its usual life. Convincing Americans of the need for vaccination, Joe Biden said: “This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and others.”
During his speech, Joe Biden mentioned that while local school officials are trying to protect children from the pandemic by introducing a mask regime and promoting vaccination, some governors are hindering them. “If these governors do not help us defeat the pandemic, I will use my presidential power to get them out of the way,” Joe Biden said in reference to a number of Republican governors.
Almost immediately, Newsweek reported that members of the US Congress and employees of the federal judicial system will be exempt from mandatory vaccination. In addition, The Washington Post reported that employees of the US postal service also do not fall under the requirements of mandatory vaccination.
In principle, this is not surprising, since the Democratic Party has close ties with the USPS trade union and, based on the experience of 2020, places certain hopes on the employees of this institution when voting by mail in the 2022 congressional elections. Also, White House press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the requirements for mandatory vaccination do not apply to illegal migrants crossing the US border. Double standards? No, this is different.
Against the background of such information, American commentators – right-wing opinion leaders – considered Joe Biden’s statements as an attack on the freedom of citizens, some called it an outright provocation, a reason for unrest and urged supporters of the Republican Party to restrain negative emotions.
Democrats and the Big Pharma lobby behind them have something to worry about: September polls show that 74% of American adults are now “very or somewhat angry” about what is happening in the United States today, including 88% of Republicans, 70% of independent voters and 67% of Democrats.
To date, a total of 27 Republican state governors and their prosecutors have opposed the mandatory vaccination imposed by the White House and promised to initiate legal proceedings. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, promised to protect “Americans and their freedoms” from Biden’s “unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees” in court.
In fact, White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klein acknowledged that the White House’s use of the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to introduce mandatory vaccination is a way to circumvent the constitution by the federal government. Republican Senator Ted Cruz noted that such behaviour of a representative of the White House could be turned around in court.
Initially, lawyers from both sides of the political spectrum viewed the prospect of state-level litigation as positive for themselves. Due to the fact that, most likely, depending on the party affiliation of the state leadership, the courts would take the side of Democrats or Republicans.
However, the state of New York immediately got out of the intended design, where a judge issued an emergency injunction against the use of any disciplinary measures against medical workers who, for religious reasons, cannot take a vaccine developed using human cells obtained as a result of an abortion.
In addition to the religious aspect of mandatory vaccination, there is actually a simply medical one. Jeanne Norris, an administrative affairs officer at Michigan State University, is suing her employer, with the support of the New Alliance for Civil Liberties, because she was threatened with dismissal if she does not get vaccinated.
Norris has been ill with COVID-19, and two recent antibody tests demonstrate her persistent immunity to re-infection. However, the university’s policy specifically excludes natural immunity as a basis for medical exemption from vaccination.
It is not difficult to guess that in this regard, the issue of mandatory vaccination has the prospect of quickly reaching the US Supreme Court. Although White House lawyers and Press Secretary Jen Psaki argue that the White House administration has a solid legal basis, some lawyers express skepticism.
The fact is that the conservative justices of the Supreme Court are in a 6-to-3 majority and several recent decisions on the election in Arizona and the issue of abortion in Texas have already frightened Democrat supporters. Most importantly, most recently, in August, the US Supreme Court lifted the moratorium on the eviction of Americans from rented housing, which was established by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the instructions of the White House.
This was done on the grounds that the legislation does not directly provide for the authority of the CDC to declare such a moratorium. At the moment, the OSHA does not directly specify the possibility of introducing mandatory vaccination in the list of powers, and if the members of the Supreme Court adhere to the previous logic, the decision of the White House will be canceled.
In this regard, the attacks in the media on the members of the Supreme Court have escalated. Judge Amy Coney Barrett even had to justify that the Supreme Court is not “a bunch of partisan hacks”. A similar statement was made by Judge Clarence Thomas, accusing the media of undermining faith in legal institutions.
Democrats are calling for the resignation of 83-year-old “liberal” judge Stephen Breyer, so that he does not give his seat to a conservative judge under a Republican president as a result of his sudden death, as happened with Ruth Ginsburg. Breyer refused such proposals and urged not to politicise the Supreme Court and to abandon the idea of expanding the composition of the court, promoted by the Democrats.
Looking at the whole situation, one does not leave the feeling of its absurdity or the presence of some insidious plan to disorganise the United States.
Joe Biden, taking office, promised to unite a divided nation. However, immediately after the inauguration, he signed decrees on gender equality, allowing transgender people to participate in women’s sports, which further angered the conservative part of society. In the future, his actions did not strengthen the nation in any way. On the contrary, to the crisis with COVID-19, his administration added a crisis with migrants at the border, a sharp increase in inflation, and a catastrophe with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The new issue of mandatory vaccination is again splitting American society. CNN reports the results of polls, according to which 48% of respondents did not approve of mandatory vaccination, and 51% were in favour. But if the Democrats’ mouthpiece CNN, which has long lost confidence in its polls, says 48%, it is necessary to add another 20% and then we get 68% to 31% in favour of “anti-vaxxers”.
Whether it’s a coincidence or someone’s intent, but on the same day when Joe Biden spoke about mandatory vaccination and said that “it’s not about freedom or personal choice,” Vice President Kamala Harris said:
“When people are able to design their lives in a way that they can determine their own futures, we are a stronger democracy and we are a stronger nation. When people are able to make choices without government interference for themselves — in terms of their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their family, in consultation with whomever they may choose — we are a stronger society”. However, she said this in the context of the right to abortion. What is a split in one head? It’s schizophrenia. Or here for arguments we use one norm, and there – another one?
On MSNBC, statements are broadcast that Americans who are spreading an “anti-scientific conspiracy against vaccines and masks are biological terrorists”, they need to be attacked by drones.
Do those who initiate such inconsistent and ambiguous statements not understand that they are splitting the electorate not along the party line at all? If American students, who are in many ways the electoral hope of the Democratic Party, massively shout obscene chants at Joe Biden, then this clearly indicates the fallacy of the policy pursued by the White House.
One of the characteristic cases occurred with the popular black progressive rap singer Nicki Minaj in the United States, who has 22 million subscribers on social networks. On September 14, she announced that she would not go to another social event, since it is necessary to be vaccinated to attend it. Minaj said that if she gets vaccinated, she will do it not for the sake of any event, but after she finally studies this issue herself. In her next message, she said that her cousin’s friend received complications of the genitourinary system after vaccination, and his wedding was disrupted.
A wave of obstruction from liberal opinion leaders and the media immediately fell on Minaj. Scientific luminaries of the United States and even Britain declared misinformation on the part of Minaj. However, she continued to bend her line, and in this she was supported by the most popular FOX New host among Republicans, Tucker Carlson.
After that, the liberal public began to be outraged about how Minaj could listen to a “white right-wing nationalist”, to which she replied: “Right. I can’t speak to, agree with, even look at someone from a particular political party. Ppl aren’t human any more. If you’re black & a Democrat tells u to shove marbles up ur ass, you simply have to. If another party tells u to look out for that bus, stand there & get hit”.
Another non-trivial turn occurred with the popular American comedian Bill Maher, who was an ardent critic of Trump and his policies, and liberal public figures are frequent guests in his studio. However, now Maher openly supported the actions of the Republican governors of Texas and Florida, in particular Ron De Santis, who, according to Maher, “protects his elderly population much better than the governor (Democrat) of New York State”.
“Those are just facts. I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them. Look, here’s what I’m saying: I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions,” Maher said.
Maher then criticised the central American media for initially exaggerating about COVID-19. Thus, according to research published by The New York Times, about 87% of the information coverage of COVID-19 by the US national media in 2020 was negative. Although the share of negative information in the international media was 51%.
Next, Maher voiced unflattering statistics for the United States. It turns out that according to the CDC, 50.2% of patients undergoing inpatient treatment for COVID-19 were obese, and 27.8% were overweight:
“Imagine how many lives could have been saved if there had been some national campaign a la Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program with the urgency of the pandemic behind it. If the media and the doctors had made a point to keep saying there’s something you can do <…> Instead we were told to lock down. We would literally rather die.”
These episodes of American reality show that even in the liberal-minded part of society, where the individual and their life are placed on a pedestal, they are not ready for a “medical dictatorship” and do not want to give up the right to dispose of their own body. Naturally, there are more vaccine-skeptics in the conservative-minded part of society, and this is directly related to religious affiliation.
How the issue of mandatory vaccination is resolved in the United States will have a direct impact on the rest of the world, since Western countries will definitely appeal to the experience of the United States. Of course, there will be those who will do it in Russia too. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that a question of a civilisational nature is being resolved in the United States: will a person be able to retain the right to dispose of their own body without imposed conditions from a number of politicians and Big Pharma?